Kent Jones takes lead at Stadion Classic
Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Kent Jones fired an eight-under 63 on Thursday to take the lead after one round of the Stadion Classic at UGA.
Jones didn't have a bogey during his round, and established the course record at the University of Georgia Golf Club. He holds a two-stroke lead over two- time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen, David Skinns and Brandon Brown -- all of whom carded 65s.
The 45-year-old Jones has twice won on the Nationwide Tour, but both of those victories came in 2000. Since then, Jones played on the PGA Tour but never finished better than a tie for fifth.
"It was a fun day," Jones said. "I made a lot of putts, obviously, and when I hit it in trouble I found a way to get out and was making birdies from trouble spots."
Luke List, last weekend's winner at the South Georgia Classic, shot a five- under 66 and shares fifth place with four other players.
Jones played in the first group off the first tee, and it wasn't long before he set a standard for the day that nobody ended up beating. He birdied the first with a 40-foot putt, then drained back-to-back birdies at four and five. Two more birdies, at seven and nine, put Jones at five-under before he even made the turn.
He made another birdie at 11 despite hitting his tee shot into the trees.
"There was a small window there," Jones said. "Under the tree and over the next one. I was hoping to get on the front of the green somewhere and two-putt for par. I hit it solid and it jumped a little. It wound up about eight feet behind the hole. That's what happens when you shoot eight-under."
His momentum slowed with a stretch of five consecutive pars, but Jones ended his round with two final birdies and headed into the clubhouse with a 63.
Janzen was also in the morning wave off the first tee, and used a back-nine run to make his way up the leaderboard.
He had birdied three, six and eight to make the turn at minus-three, but then ran off three in a row from the 11th. He birdied 15 to get to seven-under before stumbling to a bogey two holes later. Janzen parred the last to stay two shots behind Jones.
"I would not have been happy with bogeys on the last two holes, especially after hitting good shots," said Janzen. "You plan everything out and you execute and it just doesn't work out. Sometimes you miss a shot and it works out great, it hits a tree and bounces back in the fairway."
Skinns and Brown joined Janzen when they finished in the early evening. They were in the last groups to hit the course -- Skinns at the first hole, and Brown at the 10th.
Skinns turned at three-under after a productive and bogey-free front nine, but bogeyed the 11th. However, the Englishman, who attended the University of Tennessee, rebounded with a birdie at 12. He also birdied 14, 16 and 17.
Brown had only reached minus-two by the time he made the turn, but jump- started his round with an eagle at the first hole. He followed that with two consecutive birdies to reach six-under, but bogeyed the fourth.
It looked like Brown would end the round alone in second place -- birdies at seven and eight lowered his score to minus-seven -- but he bogeyed his last.
Joining List in fifth place were Doug LaBelle II, Jim Herman, Chris Nallen and Hudson Swafford.
NOTES: Defending champion Russell Henley fired a two-under 69 and shares 32nd place. Last year, Henley became the second amateur in Nationwide Tour history to win an event, but he has since turned professional...Martin Piller set the previous course record of 64 in 2010, when he won the tournament.
05/03 20:27:29 ET